Body Language Expert | Media Personality | Communication Expert | Leadership Coach & Trainer
Susan Constantine, body language expert just stepped out of the Green Room at the HLN network, hair and makeup camera-ready, waiting for the cue to take my seat on the set of the Jane Velez-Mitchell show when a cameraman stopped me. What do you think about this judge?
He was talking about the just-released YouTube video of Texas Judge William Adams ferociously belt whipping his teenage daughter. The cameraman showed me the video, and I was moved to tears. I was overcome by a flood of emotions of anger, concern for the child, the injustice of the system that allows a person like this to sit in judgment of others (although I later found out his violent side previously had been a well-kept family secret).
To answer the cameraman’s question, I had to purposefully distance myself from the horror of the tape, and re-watch the episode with a professional eye.
Adams entered the room with his weapon, the belt, tightly wound in his clenched fist. He didn’t yell or chew out Hillary for some infraction as a typical overwrought parent of a teenager might do.
No, Adams spoke in a tone that suggested he was all business. There was no inflection in his voice. That tells me this is something he was accustomed to doing.
Looking at Adams’ facial expression right before the whipping, I saw the signs of what we call “dangerous demeanor.” Adams’ eyebrows furrowed, his eyes became fixed, his mouth became tight and horizontal. The clustering of these micro-expressions is a warning sign that the victim, in this case the daughter, is in imminent danger of a premeditated attack.
Constantine stated Adams was not angry about something Hillary did. He was angry because he’s an angry person. I saw an angry man lashing out of his internal frustrations and rage. He showed a total lack of impulse control.
Adams doesn’t get into specifics about the act or behavior he was punishing. There’s some talk about her playing computer games. But his main accusation was a generalization that Hillary was disobedient and that he was going to beat her into submission.
Furthermore, his level of anger did not match this vague offense. There was a disconnect between what he was saying and doing. It was as if he were imposing the death penalty on a flimsy loitering case. Way over the top!
It’s probably no coincidence Susan Constantine says that Hillary has cerebral palsy. Men who are narcissistic and controlling are well known to prey on the weak, the fragile and the defenseless, including children, the disabled and pregnant women. At the end of this full-throttle beating, Adams blamed the victim, telling Hillary you caused this.
We couldn’t see Hillary at the start of the attack, but clearly she knew from experience what was coming. In her case, she was trapped. A disabled child confronted by a physically powerful father blocking her bedroom door.
For others, here’s the survival manual synopsis: If you are confronted by someone who is exhibiting that clustering of micro-expressions, run for your life. If the potential attacker is an intimate and you can’t get away, try diffusing his emotions by assuring him that he is right and you are wrong. After the immediate danger has passed, get help.